It can be hard to make a big impression in a Toro Rosso, given it remains an erratic team in terms of performance, but Gasly’s high points this season convinced Red Bull to promote him to the A-team and showed he’s got what it takes to make a name for himself at the front of the field.
Bahrain (where he was fourth) and Hungary (sixth) stand out, for these were the weekends where the Toro Rosso had a good turn of pace and Gasly absolutely nailed it. Both were what could be termed ‘grand prix winning drives in the midfield’, and in Bahrain he twice had to fight off the combative Kevin Magnussen to hold on to his position.
There was more to Gasly’s season than this. Despite underachieving in Q3, he was quick in Monaco, while as the season progressed he showed he had the ability to nick the odd point in tricky circumstances. But it was the way he drove that most caught the attention. From the first lap of FP1, he’s always super-committed and not afraid of the car moving around, making him one of the most spectacular drivers to watch.
His consistency could be criticised, although it’s hard to separate driver from car performance in this regard. And while he wasn’t as far ahead of team-mate Brendon Hartley on pace as the points may suggest, Gasly’s tendency to be on the right side of a small time split in qualifying suggests he can deliver under pressure. He’ll need to do that in spades next season up against Max Verstappen at Red Bull.